WHAT AGORAPHOBIA IS

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“Since I was a child, I had suffered from anxiety. It was so much that I couldn’t stand in crowded places. My disease is called agoraphobia. The etymology of the word agoraphobia is from Greek. Agora means square and phobia means fear. So agoraphobia is fear of open spaces and often of any place outside home. The agoraphobic feel comfortable only within their domestic walls. In more serious cases, they can’t leave their home.
“Agoraphobia includes fear of traveling. The world is seen as a minefield. One often feels faint while one is outside home. The more the agoraphobic strive to be normal and at ease, the more this effort of will turns into tension, cold perspiration, and accelerated heartbeats. Apparently, behind agoraphobia there is something related to the relationship with others. Conditioning by religion, society, and family is buried deep in the mind, and it generates a permanent conflict between repression and expression of emotions and feelings. I felt my conflict was unbearable. Accordingly, I fled the external world and withdrew to my home and the office of my haulage company to feel better. I was tortured by a huge ambivalence. On the one hand, I wanted to live my life fully, going out and walking freely on the streets, squares, and crowded places. On the other hand, I felt dizzy outside my home and my office, as if I were about to faint.
“Uncle Salvatore, I didn’t know about your disease. It looks very serious. How did you overcome your agoraphobia?”
“I was helped by the divinity that sent me persons as healers and teachers. Events don’t happen by chance. Our path of life has already been designed by an invisible entity that leads us along the way. An invisible and subtle thread led me to Osho. ‘Please, St. Michael the Archangel, help me and make it possible for me to walk the streets without anxiety and panic attacks!’ I prayed to St. Michael the Archangel when his statue passed by me during the procession on July second.”
“What happened to you afterwards, Uncle Salvatore? Did St. Michael the Archangel answer your prayer?”
“I can just say that from that day on, my life started to change for the better. I met many masters. Little by little, I could get over my anxiety and panic attacks.”

This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words: second edition by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

KHNUM, THE GOD OF CREATION

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‘The stories told in the Bible are not original at all. Many religions tell the same stories as those written in the Bible. For instance, the myth of creation in Egyptian mythology is older than that in the Bible by at least fifteen hundred years. According to Jewish tradition, the first book of the Bible, Genesis, was written by Moses when he led his people through the desert. The Exodus from Egypt happened around fifteen hundred BC, while the Egyptian mythology ranges between five thousand BC and three thousand BC.’
“I listened to him silently, and for the first time I had doubts about the originality of the Bible. Even though I was and still I am Catholic, my desire to know the truth was much bigger than my blind faith in the Bible. He went on. ‘The myth of the creation of man from clay is in the Egyptian mythology as well. Khnum, the god of creation, was called the Potter God, because he gave life to living beings by shaping clay. The God of the Bible created Adam in the same way. Hence, the Bible is not original. It imitates other religions.’

This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words – second edition- by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

 

THE SEARCH FOR GOD

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“How did you search for God? Did you follow a precise plan? From where did you start? And now, after so many years, have you come to a conclusion?”
“Your question is really interesting!” he said, smiling in such a way that I couldn’t make out whether he was kidding me or not. “If God exists, he is infinite. Humans, with their limited minds, can never see or understand God unless he wants to show himself to them. When I look at the sky on a starry night, I feel like a speck of dust in comparison with the universe. Is it possible to understand the infinite, boundless universe? Of course not. Remember! You can invest billions of euros in the search for God, but you will waste your money. Sometimes a poor person can overtake you in such a quest. Do you remember the widow’s mite I just mentioned? Therefore, I didn’t plan or invest money in my search for God. I thought God would benevolently show me the right way to follow to meet him. Perhaps he could appear to me in my daily life, through situations, nature, and people I met. Actually, everything comes from God.”
“Quite often, Uncle Salvatore, things happen apart from God’s will. We believe that fortunes, misfortunes, and happenings come from God, but they just happen. The ancient
Romans used to say homo faber fortunae suae, man is the maker of his fortune. The thought that God is behind daily life is wrong. Our reasoning and fears bring God into existence. He doesn’t exist outside us. Whenever we try to prove God’s existence, we make a gap between the logical sphere and the ontological one. That is, through our mind and reasoning, we create an entity whom we give the name God.”…

…“While searching for God, I turned off my thinking mind. I tried to access my being that feels life’s music. I realized that my intellect was not enough to understand God. I had to put aside philosophy. By logic we can’t reach God. To be with God means that we live the mystery and miracle, which are nonlogical. Music, art, and literature don’t proceed logically. They just come from inspiration. I am convinced that something intangible and mysterious happens when one composes a piece of music, paints a picture, or writes a poem.
Perhaps the inspired artists are close to God more than we may think. However, if you can’t prove the existence of God or his presence behind the events of life, you can’t prove the contrary either. You can’t rule out that God manifests himself through those whom we come across in our daily life. Starting from this basis, I have been following the stream of life in my quest. Maybe life itself will make me meet God, I thought.”

This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words – second edition- by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

WHAT DOES IT MEAN THE RICH CANNOT ENTER PARADISE

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“Starting from nothing, I have become very rich. Hence, I have asked myself, ‘With all these riches, do I deserve the kingdom of heaven?’ In fact, in the Gospel it is written: It is
easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 19:24).
What does this passage mean to you? Do you think I have sinned by accumulating wealth on behalf of our families?”
“In my opinion, in that passage, Jesus wanted to say that you must create riches on behalf of others, not only for yourself. You have built the fortune of our families. This was a good action, because now we are rich, thanks to you.”
“My interpretation is different. With money we can buy external things, not the inner world, and the kingdom of heaven is linked with the innermost heart. To be close to God, the heart should not be spoiled by the lust for wealth. At the beginning of my life as a rich man, I was sure that I could purchase everything with money. But over the years, I came to realize that I couldn’t buy love, friendship, or the esteem of others. In other words, I couldn’t buy feelings. I couldn’t buy invisible valuable things for my soul.”

This is an excerpt from The Vibrations of Words – second edition- by Ettore Grillo
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

PASSION SUNDAY IN ENNA

 

 

 

 

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In my hometown, the processions of Holy Week are ingrained in townspeople’s DNA.
On Palm Sunday the wooden statue of Jesus is carried on a litter in procession by the brethren who belong to the Confraternity of Passion, from the Church of San Leonardo to the cathedral.
The town band and the townspeople follow the statue. While I was in the procession I had a look at those around me. Some women who had been attractive one time, now had their faces seamed with wrinkles. An old friend of mine whom I had not seen for a long time came close to me and we walked together for a little while. He told me that he had undergone two difficult surgical operations, but now he was in a good condition. I also saw a woman who had a bad reputation. Although she was a doctor, she was considered by everybody a rude and malevolent woman. There were also young people with a jaunty air. Everybody followed the procession as if they were going with the current of a river. At the end we arrived at the cathedral. The procession was over and I returned home to write something about what I had seen.
Ettore Grillo author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
-Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

MY VISIT TO A SIKH TEMPLE IN LONDON

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I stood in front of the gilded dome for a short while and then entered the temple. At the entrance, a man asked me to take my shoes off and wash my feet. He picked up a reddish headscarf from a large basket and wrapped it around my head. At last, I was allowed to go in. There were two prayer rooms; the floors were covered with white sheets and no chairs. I noticed that the best places to sit down were by the pillars because I could lean my back against the pillar while sitting on the floor. I chose one of those places and sat down. I turned my head slowly to one side and then to the other side to see what kind of people were sitting there. The women were on the left side; the men on the right. Between the two groups, a long central space was left clear. Opposite me, on the left side, there was a window divided into three smaller ones. Three women, each in one of the small windows, seemed to be reading a book. At the center, I saw a lectern with a book on it. (Later, I knew it was the holy book of the Sikhs.) Standing behind the lectern, a man slowly waved a fan made of feathers over the holy book. Every about ten minutes, the person behind the lectern alternated. On the right side, there was a wooden platform with a small harmonium and a man was playing it.
Close to me, there was an olive-skinned man with a white turban and a graying, long beard. He looked quite relaxed while waiting for the ceremony to start. From time to time, he turned to me and looked at me in the eyes. Obviously, he wanted me to ask him something.
“In which town are we?” I asked.
“Southall.”
“Is this a Hindu temple?”
“No, we are Sikhs.”
“Sikhs?”
“Our religion was revealed to Guru Nanak Dev by God; then, the precepts were handed down to other gurus and collected in our holy book.”
“I am looking for a guru, a spiritual master. Can I find a guru in this temple?”
“Why do you think a guru is helpful to you?”
“I would like to progress in my spiritual path and know whether everything ends or whether there is something that survives the annihilation of the body when a living being dies.”
“To know the answer there is only one way. You have to ask God for help. Our religion is based on praising God and calling for his help. Do you expect that the human being can progress in his life without God’s protection and guidance? Reflect upon it for an instant! There is only one guru indeed. Life itself is the real guru or master. Live your life intensely. It will be your best guru. No guru is greater than life. Who taught you the way to arrive at this Sikh temple?”
“Circumstances, chance, fate!”
“In a sense, it is true. Man deceives himself about having his own willpower. One believes he is capable of making decisions, but actually the individual has no decision-making power. Only circumstances take the lead. We are like flags blown by every wind. Everything is fortuitous — to be born in that town and not in another place, to have those parents, families, and friends, not others. Even the encounters we make in the course of the day depend upon fortuitousness. You can make all the efforts you can and read as many books as those kept in the Library of Alexandria, but if the circumstances are not favorable for you, your efforts and knowledge will remain a dead letter. It is up to you to establish if there is mere chance or something else, some entity behind the happenings. In my opinion, the one who creates the circumstances is only God. Since God is the one who controls the events, it is natural that we invoke Him. But you, as a Christian, can invoke your master, Jesus. The result is the same.”
At the end of the ceremony, everyone was handed a bit of sweet, purplish pastry. Then, in a little procession, the holy book was carried along the central aisle and placed in an adjacent room. The man whom I had talked to before busied himself in tidying up the prayer room, folding the sheets, and cleaning the area where the holy book had been exposed.
When I was about to leave the temple, a man came up to me and asked me to accept the food that was being offered in the dining room. So, I entered a room where there were a few long carpets for people to sit down and eat the meal offered by the community. The food was vegetarian, abundant, and tasty. Each one took his own metal tray, which had four or five sections, and got in line to receive his ration. When my turn came, they put yogurt, some well-seasoned rice, and other spicy, Indian specialties, typical of the cooking of the Sikhs, in each section of my tray. Moreover, they gave me some soft bread similar to our dough for pizza.
I took my tray full of food and sat down at one side of those carpets to eat my meal. A man close to me talked about the meaning of that food, which was so abundant and free.
“Sikhism,” he said, “has eliminated castes and discriminations among the people who belong to different social levels or classes. We are equal before God. Eating together strengthens the feeling of equality.”…

This is an excerpt from Travels of the Mind
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

BAD THINGS TURN INTO GOOD THINGS

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BAD THINGS TURN INTO GOOD THINGS
On July 10, the new edition of my book, Travels of the Mind was released. Consequently, I asked the person who built my website to update it with the cover of the new book. He didn’t. He didn’t even answer my e-mails.
I was very angry and hesitant about what to do. Finally, I came to the right decision. I didn’t argue with him, instead I decided to build a new website by myself.
Nothing is impossible for determined people. If you have enough faith in yourself, you can even move a mountain!
It took two days to build my website, but finally I did. Furthermore, I enhanced my blog.
The man who refused to update my website was like a teacher to me. I am grateful to him. Thanks to him, I created something that seemed to be impossible to me.
According to Lao Tzu, the author of the most ancient book about Tao, there is a paramount force over heaven and earth, called Tao (the way). Lao Tzu thinks that unfavorable situations are a source of personal growth. In Taoism the sourness and bitterness of life are not caused by life itself, but our minds which don’t know how to transform the unfavorable situations into favorable ones.
You can have a look at my new website and blog: http://www.ettoregrillocom.wordpress.com and http://www.ettoregrillo.wordpress.com.
Nothing is impossible for determined people!
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

THE HOLY WEEK IN ENNA

 

 

 

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THE HOLY WEEK IN ENNA

In Enna, on the occasion of the Holy Week, the Church of Saint Michael has been reopened to the public for a few days. It was a mosque until a few centuries ago. Later, it was converted into a Catholic church.

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During the Arab rule, which lasted about two centuries, Sicily was full of mosques. According to a historian, at that time there were more mosques in Palermo than in Istanbul.
Later, although there were many Catholics and also a few Muslim families, Enna was essentially pagan. The cult of the mother goddess Demeter and her daughter Kore was deep rooted in the hearts of the townspeople.
In 1412 the statue of the patron saint, Maria Santissima della Visitazione, came to Enna. Since then, the whole population has been Catholic.

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Although the Holy Week is a legacy of the Spanish rule in Sicily, some brotherhoods date back to the Nights Templar. One of these is the brotherhood of the Most Holy Savior, which was founded in 1261, before the Spaniards conquered Sicily.
The brethren who belong to the brotherhood of the Holy Savior have the privilege of carrying in procession on their shoulders the glass sarcophagus containing the wooden statue of dead Jesus.
In Enna, during the Holy Week, folklore and religiosity intertwine. It is a unique event that is worth seeing.
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

PALM SUNDAY IN ENNA

 

 

 

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The very bad weather didn’t prevent the townspeople from pouring into the streets. Everybody followed the procession despite the intense cold.
On Palm Sunday, the brethren take in procession the wooden statue of Jesus.
The procession moves from the Church of San Leonardo to the cathedral church.
After mass in the cathedral, the procession goes back to the Church of San Leonardo.
The brethren who have the privilege of carrying the statue of Jesus on their shoulders are those who belong to the Confraternity of Passion. This brotherhood is one of the sixteen brotherhoods of Enna. It was established in the seventeenth century under the Spanish viceroy. In fact, Sicily was Spanish possession.
The rites of the Holy Week date back to the period of Spanish domination, but some brotherhoods are very old and claim to have been founded by the Knights Templar.
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

KOREA, A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY

 

 

 

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KOREA, A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY

More than two thirds of Korea consists of mountains covered with trees of various species. Maples and Ginkgoes are common. In autumn, their leaves turn red and golden yellow, and the mountains look like a gigantic painting by God. Here and there, Buddhist temples stand on the slopes of the mountains.
A few days ago, we visited Palgong Mountain, near the city of Daegu. To reach the peak, we climbed 1365 uneven steps. Up there, the statue of Gatbawi Buddha, supposed to be miraculous, sits on the rock. Many people from all over Korea come and make their wishes to this unique Buddha with a hat on. On the top, the ladscape was very beautiful and panoramic.

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One day, we visited a museum of silkworms. The cocoon’s silk is white or yellowish. Apparently, the Silk Road started from Korea and ended in Rome. In ancient times, 1kilo of silk was equivalent to 1kilo of gold!
Another day, we walked around a tea festival. In Korea, making and serving tea is an art. I was enchanted by the gracefulness of Korean ladies wearing their traditional dress called hanbok. In the yard of a house somebody was making a traditional-style sticky rice cake. They set some steamed sticky rice on a big and thick board, and then beat it with a wooden maul. Finally, they cut the mashed rice into small pieces, put some soy bean powder on the rice cake, and offered it to the visitors. It was delicious!

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The next day I visited a Catholic holy place called Hanti Martyrs’ Shrine.
Korea is the only country in the world where Christianity was not brought by the missionaries. There were no missionaries at the first time. Even though nobody preached Christianity in Korea, it took roots naturally. However, Christians were persecuted and killed in great numbers.
In this holy place were identified the bodies of 37 martyrs. I stood for a few minutes in front of those graves and thought about the absurdity of eliminating ideas by using force. You can kill a material body, not immaterial ideas, opinions and religious feelings. Nowadays, almost a third of the population is Christian. That means that the martyr’s thought is still alive and untouched by their corporeal death.
Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind

http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo